Sam Bird says underdogs London Pulse are ready to upset the established order in the Vitality Netball Superleague play-offs.
Pulse broke into the top four of English netball’s top flight this season for the first time since forming in 2019.
The capital side are the dark horse in the hunt for the title, facing the semi-finals at Loughborough Lightning on Friday followed by the grand final at the Copper Box on Sunday.
Bird and his team are far from happy to be invited to the Jubilee weekend party – they want to spoil the celebrations of the established order.
“We made history because it’s the first time our club has qualified for the play-offs and the players have an idea of that, but for us it’s also the end of the season,” he said. she stated.
Four teams. A blow to immortality. 👊
It’s officially the week of the Grand Final 2022 🥳
Who do you support for glory? 🏆 pic.twitter.com/wOQ5Mdgcr7
— Vitality Netball Superleague (@NetballSL) May 30, 2022
“We really want to shine in the play-offs and no one can deny, regardless of the results of the play-offs, that this is a team that will continue to grow and improve, and we are still improving now.
“If we get the timing right, we might just cause a few surprises.”
Pulse finished eighth in the Covid-hit 2021 season and found a new level in the first full season with fans since the pandemic.
They have won 14 of their 20 regular season games, comfortably fending off the likes of Saracens Mavericks, Leeds Rhinos and Surrey Storm to advance to the semi-finals.
Pulse has been a unique platform for young players to participate in the full-time Vitality Roses program ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Star defenders Funmi Fadoju and Zara Everitt got their first senior contracts with the Roses in May, alongside sniper Olivia Tchine.
Your young player of the season: @FadojuFunmi 👑
The teenager wins the best U21 player award for the second season in a row 🤯
— Vitality Netball Superleague (@NetballSL) June 1, 2022
“I came in as head coach and said if we were going to come in last, we need to come in last with young talent so they can learn,” Bird said.
“We deliberately recruited some of the best talent in the country and the reason I’m not surprised they’ve done so well is that they’re just so exciting to work with.
“They have absolutely worked hard in training and the club has given them the confidence to believe they are good enough to become Roses and Future Roses, and we have a lot of England players on our way as well.
“They’re so driven, they’re engrossed in netball, they want to represent England, they want to give their best.”
Who will be crowned champions? The 2022 Vitality Netball Grand Final will take place at the Copper Box Arena in London this Sunday, June 5. Get your tickets here